Autumn Love – Food, Energy, Ritual, Women, Treats, And The Kitchen

I have always loved the crisp air, warm spices, comforting foods, grounding energy, and the return to routine that autumn brings.

As I sit here at my computer I can almost hear the crunch and smell the earthy leaves of fall. The days are slowly getting shorter but the sun still shines brightly and lasts just long enough for sport practices and a short walk after work. It is the season of harvest, preparing for the winter, and even some lunchtime trail rides with the kids back at school. Tapping in to the energy of the season is a wonderful and important way to connect to the rhythm that we have evolved for thousands of years to be in synch with and fall is one of my favorite times to do this.

In the autumn I am immediately drawn to my kitchen as it feels grounding after the endless light and go of summer. The slightly cooler and darker evenings quietly beckon me back in. I now crave this return to the kitchen. Fall foods are comforting, warming and cozy. We brew up warm soups and stews that cook for hours and fill the kitchen with mouth watering smells all afternoon. These longer cooked dishes are wonderful for gut health as they are easier to break down and give the gut a bit of a rest. Plus, we use quite a bit of bone broth as a base which has healing gelatin, collagen and minerals. In different ancient healing practices around the world this grounding in the fall is important to balance the dry, windy, and transitional energy of the fall. With the right lifestyle and eating changes we can feel nourished by the fall instead of depleted. I find this to be true for me and am happy to bring my energy down into my roots this time of year and ground into the season.


Apples

I love when I get to pick my own apples but regardless we try to see how many different varieties of apples we can taste and cook with each fall. Stewed apples with cinnamon are one of my favorite gut healing treasures in the fall. The fiber in apples feed our good bacteria in the gut and they produce metabolites that heal our gut wall, talk to our immune system (which is really important in the fall), and even talk to our brain. We eat these stewed apples many mornings and in the afternoon with a sprinkle of chia seeds and hemp seeds and even some mct oil for a good fat. Apples rank at the top of foods with phenolic antioxidants making them high in antioxidants and especially cancer fighting quercetin. My 10 year old Clay loves to bake spicy apple crisp and even makes it gluten free for me to enjoy. Gretal loves baked apples with cinnamon, coconut sugar, and walnuts. I love making spiced gluten free apple cake and John’s heart lies with an almond and cranberry apple pie. But really, is there anything easier and more delicious than sliced apples with cinnamon?


Stirring My Brew (aka spicy chai)

There is not much more that says fall in our family than a brewing pot of chai on the stove. It lures people out of their rooms and into the kitchen to comment year after year “ah, it smells like fall”. The spices of chai are warming to the body and the soul. Cinnamon, ginger, cardamon, cloves, and pepper. All full of healing nutrients to boot (see below). We brew these spices for an hour and then add black tea for a few minutes and strain. After we pour this into anxiously awaiting mugs we add honey and a splash of milk of choice (some like coconut, some cashew, and others full fat cows milk) and savor each cozy and warming sip.


Fall Ritual- Prepping for winter

There are years I am better at preserving foods than others. Sometimes I jar tomatoes or chop and freeze squash, green beens, berries, etc but what I am most consistent with is prepping my fall and winter supply of Fire Cider. I love this ritual. People have been enjoying the immune support and digestive support of fire cider for decades. I love this kind of preserving because there are no rigid rules or formulas. Once you do it a few times you can change it up, add different ingredients or change up the quantities to your liking. My favorite recipes are part of the Healing Foods Club . Making Fire Cider is affordable and rewarding. I take a shot of this fire cider in warm water every morning as part of my morning fall/winter ritual to support my gut, my immune system, and my morning energy.


Letting Go

The fall reminds us that it is okay to let go of what does not serve us or what has transitioned on. As I watch the beautiful golden and red leaves fall to the earth I am reminded to let go. Just when the world is so supremely beautiful, with the snow on the mountains and the bright leaves on the aspens, it is time to let go. All things have their time. Their seeding, their growing, their burning bright, their clinging, their letting go, their becoming one with the earth, and then the seed again. Our crazy world today allows us to think we can have it all all the time but leaning into the seasons reminds us of the importance of the cycle and also gives us a chance to slow down, release, enjoy what is right in front of us. I use my breath, specifically my exhale, as much as I can to release what is not serving me, even if I want to cling to it forever. I use my inhale to feel gratitude for all that I have and love. It is a practice every day as I am far from perfect at this. But one breath at a time…..


The Female Cycle and The Seasons

I love teaching the Women’s Hormone Club and one of my favorite parts is when we go into the different energies of the female cycle. When we tap into the different hormones that are present during each phase of our monthly cycle we often notice that there is a time of the month that we feel more driven, a time we feel more social, a time we feel more introspective, a time we feel like planning, and a time we feel quieter. When we put that cycle over the time frame of the year there is a similar pattern for the seasons of the year. The fall is the time associated with the luteal phase in a woman’s cycle. The time after ovulation when progesterone rises, bringing with it a feeling of calm and going inside oneself a bit more, a coziness, and preparing for what is to come. Do you feel this shift? Or is it at a different season for you?


Trick or Treats

As a nutritionist, some of the candy and food coloring that comes along with Halloween drives me nuts. I have learned that having some treats around the house this time of year that I feel better about curbs the craving to get ravenous around some of the scarier options out there. Some of our favorites are making chocolate mint, chocolate peanut butter, and lemon coconut cups. Another favorite is gluten free pumpkin squares with cream cheese frosting (I also love these as muffins without frosting). These are delicious and remind me of growing up! Another thing I try to do is load the kids and adults up on plenty of protein rich foods before they snack on treats so they do not eat candy when they are hungry. Do you have a trick to keep a happy or balanced relationship with the treats of halloween?

chocolate mint cups RECIPE

RECIPE FOR GLUTEN FREE PUMPKIN SQUARES WITH CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

Fall Foods and Spices

Foods that are in season in the fall include- pumpkins, pumpkin seeds, cranberries, chard, apples, broccoli, sweet potatoes, kale, mushrooms, cabbage, fall squash, grapes, pomegranate and more. Download my cozy fall recipe book loaded with clean recipes here and share what fall foods you love to cook in your kitchen. Check out my blog and Instagram for more seasonal recipes too. My seasonal elixir guide is part of the Healing Foods Club. Classic fall spices incude-

  • Ginger – is a wonderful spice for digestion, it reduces nausea, is anti-inflammatory, and has anti-microbial properties
  • Cardamom -may help to lower blood pressure, reduce inflammation and protect against cancer
  • Cinnamon – may help with blood sugar balance and downstream hormone balance
  • Cloves – may also help regulate blood sugar, reduce inflammation, protect against cancer, and support the liver health


Harvest

I grew up celebrating harvest on the farm and now have a small backyard garden to work and enjoy. I love taking the time to harvest what we have put energy and intention into. This is true for harvesting food but also harvesting ideas, plans, emotions, relationships, work, etc. In the spring we consider what seeds we want to plant, how we will feed and water them, and then in the fall I try to reflect on how things have been going and celebrate the work I have done. This has become a wonderful ritual in the fall for me. I consider how my heart feels, how my body feels, and how my brain feels this time of year and celebrate all that has grown and honor what I have learned so far in the year.


Fall Play


All of this and we haven’t even talked about Thanksgiving yet! I suppose that is for another time. 

Sing up for the Healing Foods Club here.
More information is here
This is included with Foundations of Health

Stewed Apples For Your Gut And Your Immune System

I wish there was a recipe that was delicious, that warmed my heart and soul, was easy to make, supported my gut health, and benefited my immune system.

Oh wait, there is, and it is the perfect time of year for it. Stewed apples!

Here is the cool thing, the “good” microbes in your gut eat the fibers from apples and produce short chain fatty acids. These short chain fatty acids are signaling molecules, they talk to other cells in our body and tell them what to do. These short chain fatty acids are critical in maintaining our gut integrity while also talking directly to our immune system. They actually turn off and on immune cells. With around 80% of our immune system in our gut these microbial metabolites have a huge impact on how our immune system functions.

So we need to both seed plenty of good, diverse and health promoting bacteria in our gut and we need to feed those bacteria specific foods so they can do their work. This is a key part of health for all humans at all phases of life and one that impacts almost every part of the body.

Fall foods tend to be cooked longer, and include soups and stews. These foods are often more gentle on the digestive tract as they are easier to break down. People with digestive issues often benefit from from cooking their foods a bit before they eat. Some of the most therapeutic diets for gut health include only cooked and soupy foods while the gut heals.

Check out my impromptu youtube video about why I love stewed apples for gut and immune health below.

I get to work with a lot of people that have gut issues, hormone issues, problems with energy, headaches, anxiety, sleep, etc. Doing deep work to improve the integrity of the gut and the diversity of healthy bacteria can impact all of these areas as the microbiome again, impacts so many if not all body systems.

How can you impact this?

One easy way to do this is to eating foods with specific fibers that support healthy bacteria in the gut! Stewed apples, homemade hummus, and my morning psyllium/flax drink are powerful ways to do this. But eating more quantity of and more diverse fiber from any fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, or legumes is great too. You know, the rainbow.

Eat up! Janel


See references below

Download my printable recipe for stewed apples here

Watch my instructional video about how to make stewed apples (from The Healing Foods Club and Foundations of Health)



Recipe For Delicious and Easy Stewed Apples-

Ingredients

  • 6 Apples (sweet variety so you don’t need sweetener, organic )
  • 1/2 cupWater
  • 1/2 cupOrganic Raisins (optional addition for sweetness and fiber)
  • 2 1/2 tsps Cinnamon
  • Optional-
  • 1 tbsp Ground Flax Seed
  • 1 tbsp Chia Seeds ((or hemp seeds, sunflower, pumpkin, walnuts, etc))
  • 1 tbsp Mct Oil

Directions

  1. Peel, core, and slice apples
  2. Place all ingredients in saucepan and cook over medium heat for about 15 minutes, give or take.
  3. Cook until soft
  4. Smash or crush the apples together with cinnamon and raisins if adding.
  5. Scoop desired amount into bowl. Eat warm or chill in fridge and enjoy cold.
  6. Optional- Add MCT oil and mix up. Sprinkle ground flax and ground chia or other boosters on top. ENJOY (your gut will too)
Clay on apple duty, he is making a crisp here with the sour apples. We use sweet apples for stewed apples

Research and References

  1. Gonçalves P, Araújo JR, Di Santo JP. A Cross-Talk Between Microbiota-Derived Short-Chain Fatty Acids and the Host Mucosal Immune System Regulates Intestinal Homeostasis and Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Inflamm Bowel Dis. 2018 Feb 15;24(3):558-572. doi: 10.1093/ibd/izx029. PMID: 29462379.
  2. Morrison DJ, Preston T. Formation of short chain fatty acids by the gut microbiota and their impact on human metabolism. Gut Microbes. 2016;7(3):189-200. doi:10.1080/19490976.2015.1134082
  3. Davani-Davari D, Negahdaripour M, Karimzadeh I, et al. Prebiotics: Definition, Types, Sources, Mechanisms, and Clinical Applications. Foods. 2019;8(3):92. Published 2019 Mar 9. doi:10.3390/foods8030092
  4. Great podcast interviewing microbiome research and gut expert Kiran Krishnan on immune health and the gut

Janel Ferrin Anderson NC FNLP

Hello! I am a functional medicine nutritionist and helping people understand how food and lifestyle impact health and physiology is my jam. I work with people one on one and in group settings to optimize health. Learn more about me here


Healing Foods Club (included with Foundations of Health)

What’s up with GLUTEN?

There is no one-size-fits-all diet that is perfect for everyone. Depending on our gut integrity, the balance of our microbiome, our digestive resilience (how are digestive enzymes and secretions are working), our genetics, and our immune function, each of us is impacted by food differently.

Gluten is a hot topic these days and it can be confusing for even the most well informed human. I personally have started and stopped this post at least 100 times. But as a nutrition educator and functional nutritionist it is my goal to help people understand how their unique body interacts with food, without over reacting or with out missing something that might be causing problems.

The truth is there are several different ways gluten can impact people and we are learning more and more about it as new research and studies are done. It is still an evolving topic but certain things have become more clear. This is my attempt to sort it out in a clear way, with out going down too many rabbit holes.

Whenever things are confusing I enjoy taking things back to physiology, where the environment meets our unique body. Let’s look at a few different ways gluten can impact our physiology, depending on each person-


First off, what is gluten? Gluten is a protein naturally found in wheat, barley, spelt, semolina, wheatberries, and rye. It is in many processed foods as well including soy sauce, salad dressings, spices, canned soups, sauces, boullion and in many more sneaky places. Wheat is actually composed of 4 classes of proteins; albumins, globulins, gliadins, and gluten’s, which together are known as prolamins or gluten. We know of 62 peptides and other constituents that can trigger a response from wheat.

What are different ways people can negatively respond to gluten?

  1. An IgE response, or a wheat allergy. An allergy to wheat can be tested by a skin prick or blood test and has been tested and used since the mid 1900s in the medical world. An IgE reaction is an immune reaction that activates IgE antibodies against wheat. So when wheat is consumed, it is broken down in the digestive systems and absorbed into the bloodstream in the small intestine. From there, in people with an allergy to wheat, the immune system sees it and produces IgE antibodies that attack it and cause a reaction in the body. Back when allergies were discovered medically, they only looked at IgE reactions, which is why today that is still what is referred to as a true allergy. IgE antibodies are only one of five different antibodies in the immune system (we also have IgA, IgM, IgG, and IgD antibodies).
  • Symptoms that might occur with a wheat allergy include stuffy nose, headache, itchy eyes, cramps, diarrhea, hives, swelling, or anaphylaxis.

2. Celiac Disease– Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease and gluten is the trigger. An autoimmune disease is where the immune system mistakenly attacks and damages healthy body tissues (3). In the case of celiac disease, the immune system attacks the villi in the small intestine, where we absorb our nutrients. In this case, it is the IgA antibodies, that are abundant in your gastrointestinal tract to protect you, that are activated and involved (remember? your immune system makes IgE, IgM, IgA, IgG and IgD antibodies to protect you). And, surprisingly, only about 10% of people with celiac disease have digestive symptoms (9 ). In order to get a medical diagnosis of celiac disease there has to be total atrophy (destruction) of the villi in the small intestine. However, this process takes many years of damage and by discovering the reaction early one can prevent the damage from occurring. There have been problems in properly diagnosing Celiac in the past, with many false negatives, but we now have a good way to detect the immune reaction before it is left to destroy healthy intestinal tissue. Labs such as Vibrant Wellness, Cyrex, and Doctors Data have a gluten test that look at various IgA reactions to many different proteins in wheat, including gluten, before it fully damages the small intestine.

  • Symptoms that may occur with celiac disease include anemia, fatigue, nausea, joint pain, skin rashes, brain fog, gas, bloating, thinning hair, abdominal pain, trouble absorbing nutrients, osteoporosis, and more

3. Non Celiac Gluten Sensitivity- Non celiac gluten sensitivity can be tricky to diagnose and study as the biomarkers are not a perfect indicator, but they are getting better (6). This is also testing antibodies against various parts (peptides) of gluten and include IgA and IgG antibodies. The tests for celiac disease can give us an idea of gluten sensitivities also. According to brain expert Dr. David Perlmutter MD, non celiac gluten sensitivity is not only very real but very common (2). Clinically speaking, there are significant findings and clear impacts.

  • Symptoms of non celiac gluten sensitivity can vary from intestinal problems to systemic problems including neurological ones (brain fog, headaches, anxiety, attention problems, etc), dermatological (skin rashes, etc), hormonal problems (thyroid, blood sugar, etc), rheumatoid (joint and body pains), and more.

4. Wheat is difficult to digest for all humans (5). The protein gliadin specifically, is inflammatory and can cause damage to the digestive lining including direct irritation and inflammation that loosens the tight gap junctions leading to leaky gut, and all downstream problems associated with leaky gut or hyperpermeable membranes in all humans (5, 4). Leaky gut is one of the major triggers to any/all autoimmune diseases (11) and chronic inflammation. Research also suggests this leakiness is not just in the gut but can also creates a leaky blood/brain barrier (10) impacting mental health. Other digestive problems include: the lectins, also the enzyme inhibitors, the phytic acid, and the saponins that are found in grains that make them hard to digest. Another digestive problem with wheat is the hybridization of gluten, leading to new proteins that our bodies have a hard time recognizing and breaking down. The New ways in which the wheat is grown, harvested, processed, stored, and prepared all contribute to the problem. This interaction with the small intestine lining is what can also lead to the right condition for autoimmune disease to develop. These new proteins, according to expert Andrea Nakayama, also have similar amino acid sequences that resemble various tissues in the body which can even impact how our immune system reacts to our own body (cell mimicry).


5. Wheat is is often loaded with the chemical glyphosate which is inflammatory on its own and does great damage to the gut microbiome and in result many body systems including brain health and immune function (12).


6. FODMAPS– Gluten and FODMAPS are not directly related but there is a big crossover worth discussing quick. Fodmaps, or Fermentable Oligosaccharides Disaccharides Monosaccharides And Polyols are short chain carbohydrates that can be fermented by bacteria in the intestines, causing gas, pain, diarrhea, etc. Gluten is not a fodmap but there are fodmaps in gluten containing foods. This is why when people travel to Europe, sometims gluten does not impact them. They are possibly responding the different FODMAPS in the gluten there, regardless if they are responding to wheat proteins or not. In this case it is a carb issue, aside from the potential wheat protein issue.


7. Opioid Effects – For some people, gluten can have an opioid effect on the brain (1). These people have enzymes in their gut that break gluten down into opioids that act like a heroin or morphine reaction (called exorphins or gluteomorphins) (10). These people have an extremely hard time breaking up with gluten and actually have withdrawal from gluten. These opioid substances can interfere with neurotransmitters in the brain as well, creating diverse downstream mood problems.



So, while the research is still emerging, it is clear that for many people, gluten can be the root cause of chronic inflammation (including all downstream problems), gut damage, mental health problems, skin issues, absorption problems, autoimmune problems, and other immune issues- even if you do not notice acute problem digestively with gluten. I have seen the strangest symptoms resolve after people go gluten free. For some it happens right away, for others it can take months or even years, depending.

If you are someone in perfect health- meaning you sleep well and wake rested, have great energy, poop everyday, nothing hurts, your skin is radiant, your immune system is in balance, you have mental clarity, have no genetic predisposition to autoimmune issues or degenerative diseases, are in good mental health, and with no seasonal allergies- then gluten might not be an issue for you at all. Eat on.

If you are curious if gluten might be impacting any health issues, I recommend you try a few weeks with out it and see how it feels when you bring it back in. Or alternatively, you might want to do a lab test while you are still consuming gluten to see how it might be impacting your body. But note, they are not all created the same (many just test for one component to poorly digested gluten most commonly alpha-gliadin or just an intestinal transglutaminase antibody). My two favorites tests are the Wheat Zoomer from Vibrant Wellness and The Cryex Gluten test. They both test many different parts of wheat, not just gluten (remember there are around 60 peptides in wheat that impact people and testing often only includes a few) and several different transglutaminases (antibodies). I have also used the Doctors Data Celiac and Gluten sensitivity test in the past and found it very insightful.

Many people have no idea they are sensitive to wheat or gluten until they remove it and their body has a chance to heal/repair or until they see their test results.

Depending on your unique reaction to gluten, some people need to be squeaky clean (as Dr. Tom O’Bryan says, you cannot be just a little bit pregnant if you are having an autoimmune reaction) while others can reduce the amount of gluten they are eating, or optimize the kind of gluten they are eating (like sourdough because of how the proteins are broken down in the fermentation process or ancient grains and ancient grains in their full form).

While there are many diets that are not meant for the long haul, and I am a big advocate of eating as wide a variety of whole foods as you can, avoiding gluten for the longterm is perfectly fine.

Do you know what is true for you and your relationship with gluten?


Thank you to my colleagues for reviewing and adding to this article- Angie Brown, Jennifer Burrows, Claire Sullivan, Jennifer Bruce, and Rose Khim

References

  1. Dr Kharrazian discusses various testing for gluten problems in this article.
  2. Dr. David Perlmutter article on gluten sensitivity
  3. Pubmed research article on celiac disease vs non celiac gluten sensitivity
  4. Listen here to an interview with expert Dr. Allesio Fasano about gluten research and leaky gut. Find more of his research on the resources page here
  5. Pubmed research article on how gluten impacts gut permeability for celiac and non celiac patients
  6. Nakayama, Andrea. Functional Nutrition Lab. Digestion Intensive 2018
  7. Bauman College. Therapeutic Nutrition. 2018
  8. Obryan, Dr. Tom. Facts About Gluten and The Gluten Summit
  9. www.aarda.org/news-information/statistics – American Autoimmune Related Disease Association
  10. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnhum.2016.00130/full – Article- Bread and Other Edible Agents of Mental Disease
  11. Obran, Tom. Autoimmune Fix. Rodale Inc. New York, NY. 2016
  12. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3945755/. Article- Glyphosate, pathways to modern diseases II: Celiac sprue and gluten intolerance

Janel Ferrin Anderson is a Functional Medicine Nutritionist who is obsessed with understanding the science of how we, as unique individuals, interact with the food we eat and our lifestyle. She teaches group classes and works one on one with people to optimize health both remotely and out of her office in Truckee CA

Healing Foods Club is included in Foundations of Health

Wildfire Smoke And Your Physical and Emotional Wellness

The fires and smoke have always played a part in living out west but this summer in California it has been relentless and we still have months before any major snow lends a hand.

My heart goes out to those who have lost their homes and to all those working to keep the fires under control.

The smoke has gotten so bad consistently here in Tahoe we were unable to go outside for days/weeks, sports and school have been cancelled, and the wilderness is closed.

When thinking into wildfire smoke through a functional lens there are several areas to consider. Where there is so much we cannot control, there are several things we can do to make the impact of smoke less severe.

This is by no means a medical report but instead ways to think into how smoke might be impacting you and some action steps to support your body/mind/soul.

  1. Emotional– The emotional toll is huge as the fires persists. We wake up daily and check the air quality, the fire progress, sports cancellations, school cancellations, and the weather in hopes of a drop of rain. Now more than ever doing regular activities to help calm the nervous system is important. A few ideas are
    • Guided imagery. Here is a link to one I love from my friend Nancy Candea https://soundcloud.com/user-527248513/starry-night-meditation.
    • Adaptogen Herbs help support the Hypothalamus Pituitary Axis or HPA. Some of my favorites include Rhodiola, Eleuthero, Ashwagandha, Reishi mushrooms, and Holy Basil. These tinctures can be added to water daily and work better over time.
    • Calming Herbs that support the nervous system in the moment of stress are wonderful. Some of my favorites are sipping on teas made of Lemon Balm, Catnip, Lavender, and Chamomile.
    • Tapping is a great tool for relieving acute stress and more information can be found here about tapping  https://www.thetappingsolution.com/
    • Check in on friends. Connect with community. We need each other during these times. I have seen some amazing efforts made to support community already in Truckee.
    • Gratitude journal- I know I can complain a lot during these smokey days. It is helpful to remember the things we are grateful for even when it is hard. I picked this practice up again last week and will continue through the season.
    • Turn off your device for a set period of time each day. I know during these times I feel like I need to check it every second but putting it down and stepping away is important for the nervous system. Better yet, step away, stretch, do a guided relaxation, and make a cup of tea. Ymmm.
    • If you are having problems sleeping some of my favorite night time herbs are Kava Kava, Passionflower, California Poppy, and Valerian. I take these as tinctures in a small glass of water in the middle of the night if I wake up worried. Some people take these before bed if they cannot calm their worried mind.
    • Essential oils are a lovely way to create some peace and sense of calm in your home. I love good old lavender, chamomile, rosemary and lemongrass in my diffuser or in a spray bottle mixed water or added to a simple smell free lotion.
  1. Physical– There are obviously a lot of ways smoke impacts our body physically. This is by no means all of them as it is just a start. Of course seek medical attention if you are having serious issues dealing with the smoke. These are some ideas to consider for supporting your body physically during the heavy smoke.
    • Smoke in our homes- HEPA filter (I love the Air Doctor)
    • Dry air in the home- Humidifier
    • Smoke impacting the mucus membranes in the sinuses- Saline Solution or Netti Pot rinse
    • Smoke impacting the mucus membranes of the respiratory and digestive system- I love using the herbs Marshmallow root and Slippery Elm here. We have been making cold marshmallow infusions each night and drinking them the next day. We have also made slippery elm lozenges to help support the mucus membranes. My favorite is putting honey and slippery elm powder in my marshmallow tea. It is so soothing.
    • Increased oxidative stress- Making sure you are getting enough antioxidants to offset the increased free radicals from the smoke is a great place to focus. This can be done by increasing the amount of brightly colored vegetables you are eating, adding green juices, supplementing with liposomal glutathione (the body’s biggest antioxidant) or NAC (the precursor to glutathione) or vitamin C (another great antioxidant). Find the ones I have researched and trust here.
    • Most people have slowed down with exercise and moving their body during the heavy smoke. Doing indoor yoga, stretching at home, saunas, etc are great to keep the lymph system moving.
    • Our liver is meant to detox all day everyday and usually do a great job of this. With the increased demand with the smoke I am doing some small things to support my liver that include drinking dandelion tea, including lemon zest in my smoothies, going big on cruciferous veggies like broccoli, brussels, cauliflower, and turmeric.

Again, my heart is with everyone impacted by these fires. I keep telling my kids that they are learning to be some pretty resilient humans after the last 2 years.

Mad Love, Janel

Photo by Josh Edelson 2021 Caldor fire

Healthy School Lunches- No Fights, Formulas!

Packing school lunches can be an empowering way to help your kids learn about eating for their health. Print out this cheat sheet and have them pick from each category when they pack their lunch. You can expand on this but keep the categories the same.

Fat-Protein-Veggie-Fruit

After that they can add what you allow in your family

But making sure they get fat, fiber, veggies and fruit will help them to feel balanced energy all day. It will ensure their muscles (protein), brains (fat), and immune systems (brightly colored veggies and fruit) get fed every day.

Of course that is over simplified but that is how I talk to my kids about food every day and how I recommend my clients talk to their kids around food. No matter what age they are you will be empowering them to make healthy choices for the rest of their lives.

Check out the podcast I did with Kidzone in Truckee to hear more about teaching your kids to be empowered eaters.

Happy back to school! xo Janel

Foundations of Health

Women’s Hormone Club

Spring Cleanse

Hello. I am Janel, owner of Mountain Rebalance. I am a board certified holistic nutritionist, a certified functional medicine nutritionist, I have my doctorate in natural medicine, am a family herbalist and I started out as an Ayurvedic yoga therapist. I obsess over why. Why symptoms and disease manifest and how food and lifestyle impact how we function. I help people understand their own body and explore the root cause of their symptoms or disease.

“All Disease Start In The Gut”- Hippocrates. 10 reasons why……

Our gut is the place that the outside world interacts with our inside world, all day every day. The health of our gut impacts every single system in the body and must be addressed when looking at any disease or symptom. What happens in the gut sets the stage for health or disease to take root. No matter what other route you are taking to heal, addressing gut function is key.

What directly impacts gut health? Food, lifestyle, mindset, and environment. Wait, holistic health is important for a biochemical reason? Yup!

10 ways the gut directly impacts our health-

1.Many of our genes are turned off or on depending on what comes in from the outside world through our gut and the condition of our gut. New science shows us that we are not our genes but instead what health promoting or disease promoting genes turn on depending what environment they are in (epigenetics and gene expression). 7, 1 Humans do not have that many genes, it is our life experiences and the world around us that dictate so many of our differences.

2. Around 70% of our immune system is in our gut. What we eat directly affects the status, health, and activation of our immune system. Our immune system can be under functioning (as with cancer or when we constantly catch infections) or over functioning (such as in autoimmunity, allergies, and chronic inflammation). We need our immune system to activate, work, and then return back to monitoring. The foods we eat, how we digest them, and the environment of our digestive tract can turn this chronically on or deliver input that leads to downstream immune dysfunction. (Take the thyroid for example you can have high antibodies for 8 years before your thyroid is seriously damaged or you even have symptoms! That gives you almost a decade to turn things around with food before disease sets in!) 8, 4

3. Many of the neurotransmitters we need for brain health are produced in our gut and are essential for our mental health. When the gut is not functioning correctly the brain can be directly impacted through these messengers. That serotonin that helps you to feel good? Most of that is made in the gut! Even gluten, cassein, and sugar can have opiate affects in our brain! 1, 3.

Our gut is even considered our second brain. The vagus nerve directly connects our gut to our brain and there are messages that go both ways on this nerve, keeping the brain in our head constantly informed as to what is going on in our gut (not just vice versa as we once thought). When our gut dysfunctions or is inflammed our brain can dysfunction in result. This is known as our Gut/Brain Axis. 7

4. Almost every nutrient we need to function is broken down, absorbed, or made in our gut. We need our gut functioning properly to get these vital nutrients and precursors. We can be eating a perfect diet and still not be getting these nutrients we need if we are not digesting and absorbing them correctly (stomach acid problems, lack of digestive enzymes, bile issues, villi damage, the wrong microbes, eating foods we are sensitive to, and more). Stress can even cause a digestive system breakdown leading to downstream symptoms and disease. 1,3

5. Our gut is the home to millions of microbes. We have 150 times more bacterial genes than human genes and 10 times more intestinal bacterial cells than human cells. What? Yes! This bacteria communicates directly with our entire body and impacts gene expression, brain function, metabolism, nutrient absorption, immune function, hormone detox, and more. These microbes produce certain nutrients and break down harmful substances. The food we eat and our lifestyle directly affect the quality of our gut bacteria (microbiome and dysbiosis) and in result our overall health. The new research coming out around our microbiome is outrageous and indicitive of 1, 4,5,6

6. We need our gut to absorb the appropriate sized particles but to keep out particles that do not belong in our bloodstream and that our body sees as invaders. The food we eat, our lifestyle, and medications we take all impact this important barrier function of our gut. Leaky gut’ or hyper-permeable membranes are factors involved with autoimmunity, oxidative damage and the source of chronic inflammation that drives most modern chronic disease. Even healthy foods can cause damage when there is a leaky gut. 1, 3, 4, 6

7. We need a properly functioning gut and liver/kidneys to eliminate and get rid of waste. It is important this happens in a timely manner so these substances can be eliminated and not linger in our body, wreaking havoc. Toxins can cause endless downstream problems and the truth is we have exponentially more exposure today to these harmful substances than ever (pesticides, air pollution, plastics, chemicals, etc). This is known as an evolutionary gap, where our body has not had the time to keep up with the extra demand. Ensuring our body has the extra nutrients it needs to detox toxins properly is vital. 7,8,1,3

8. Our gut can be a major cause of chronic inflammation. New research shows that Chronic Inflammation may be a leading factor to all chronic disease. Processed food, oxidized oils, and many others can cause inflammation as does our gut when it is not functioning properly and able to break down food properly. Down regulating inflammation is essential to healing and staying symptom and disease free. We must remove offenders and add foods to support and heal our digestive system. 2, 4, 5

9. Our Mitochondria, or energy makers in our cells, are also impacted by the condition of our gut! What? Our mitochondria need certain nutrients to produce energy and to remain undamaged as free radicals are created when we make energy. We get these nutrients, precursors, and antioxidants from the foods we eat and depend on the integrity of our gut being intact 5, 2

10. Hormones– Blood sugar dysregulation and stress from eating the wrong foods can be the primary cause of many downstream health and hormonal problems, including sleep struggles, energy crashes, cravings, infertility, pms, and many more. With today’s diet is easy to have blood sugar problems and I am not talking about diabetics but instead most Americans because of the foods we choose have some kind of disregulated blood sugar. Getting a handle on blood sugar and other food stressors are key to overall hormone health and set the stage for healing to occur. 1, 2, 3

Both how your gut is functioning and the foods you are eating directly affects every single part of your body. Your brain, your immune system, your detox organs, your hormones, your genes, your mental health, your energy, your sleep, and more. Your gut is the doorway to health or disease. How is yours functioning?

No matter how minor or major the health problem or symptom is that you are dealing with and regardless of using other medical interventions- the gut needs to be addressed.

Helping people optimize the gut from top to bottom, and in result optimize health for today and for decades down the line is my specialty (and dare I say obsession). I am a Functional Nutritionist, a body detective if you will. Let’s see how the food you eat and your environment are impacting your gut and ultimately how you function and feel as a unique individual. I take a true holistic and grass roots approach to wellness and listen to your story.

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” – Hippocrates. But that is a bunch of blah blah blah if your digestive system is not functioning correctly.

Heal Before Ideal! Which means we must heal the gut before even the most ideal diet can serve us. Plus, since we are all biochemically unique, what is medicine for me might be poison for you. That fast that saved you might be what tanked me. What? For real.

Let’s chat!

Email or call today for a free 15 minute consult

Janel Ferrin Anderson FNLP DNM NC- Board certified Holistic Nutritionist, Functional Medicine Nutritionist, Doctor of Natural Medicine, Family Herbalist, Ayurvedic Yoga Therapist, endless pursuer of why, and now specializing in advanced individualized diets such as salicylates, oxalates, FODMAPS and more.

Mountain Rebalance- Empower, Support, Investigate, and Integrate

This is my hubby and I on many of our awesome runs in the mountains endlessly discussing how western medicine and functional nutrition can and need to work together so people can find true health.
References 
1-Nakayama, Andrea. (2018)Full Body Systems. Functional Nutrition Lab. 
2-Bland, Jeffery. (2016) The Disease Delusion. Harper Collins. NY NY
3-Bauman, Ed. Friedlander, Jodi.  (2016). Therapeutic Nutrition Textbook Part 1. Penngrove, CA. Bauman College. 
4-O’Bryan, Tom. (2016) The Autoimmune Fix.  New York, NY:  Rodale Wellness. 
5-Jones, David MD.  (2010) Textbook of Functional Medicine.  Washington
6- Fasano, Dr. Allesio. (2019) Gluten, Autoimmunity, and Leaky Gut. https://chriskresser.com/pioneering-researcher-alessio-fasano-m-d-on-gluten-autoimmunity-leaky-gut/
7. Perlmutter, Dr. David.  (2019) Autism Spectrum Disorder and Pesticide Exposure. Dr.Perlmutter.com
8. Romm, Dr. Aviva. (2018) Reducing Thyroid Antibodies Naturally. Natural MD Radio episode #73


Featured post

Why Balance Is Key For True Health And Wellness


The idea of balance has intrigued me for 3 decades but has intrigued humans for thousands of years.  The more I study and experience in life the more I understand just how important this concept of balance is for true health and wellness:   Balance emotionally, balance energetically, and balance biochemically.  Balance feels good AND is what is what our body needs in every way imaginable.  The concept of balance has continually returned to me in my journey and I think it is the key to good health, resilience, and wellness.


As a yoga teacher in my early 20s I learned the importance of balancing effort with relaxation, balancing strength with ease, balancing humor with determination, balancing inhales with exhales, and balancing the body with our energy and spirit.  Yoga is a tangible practice of these concepts that the western world does not have a set way to study and feel otherwise.  You could say it was my ‘gateway drug’ to balance.

As a river guide, living outside for months at a time and experiencing all nature presented, it was clear in a conscious and unconscious way how important balance is.  Night and day, rain and sunshine, summer and winter, rest and excitement, smiles with tears, fear with relaxation, full moon and new moon, high water and low water, and more.  Balance is part of the natural world and reconnecting with that ebb and flow is a primal part of being human and what we  biochemically and energetically evolved in sync with.  We are sadly far removed from this pace in our busy, fast paced, controlled world.  There has been a lot of focus and research lately on the importance of connecting with nature and I think it is this concept of balance that plays a big part.


Balance is a fundamental concept in Ayurveda, which is the ancient medical practice of India and what I practiced in my early 30s as Mountain Rebalance.  The entire philosophy is based around the fact that there is no right or wrong or good or bad but instead things that balance each person uniquely for them at exactly where they are in their life.   We each have things that can balance our unique personality/energy and this changes during different phases of life, different seasons, different times of day and more.  When out of balance for too long symptoms and eventually diseases manifest. All things have this ability to balance or throw us off balance including foods, spices, physical activity, breathing techniques, careers, and so much more.  Spicy peppers and hot yoga might be exactly what one person needs to return to balance when it is exactly what will cause someone else who is already fiery to wobble out of balance and experience dis-ease, especially in summer. That person might need more rest/relaxation, cooling foods and imagery to balance them where those things would be too sedate for another who is already calm and still. We need to balance our energy instead of feeding what is. You can learn more about Ayurveda here if this interests you, it is fascinating mind shift.   https://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-1117/Ayurveda-Dosha-Types-for-Beginners.html


I loved this ancient philosophy and healthcare model and practiced Ayurvedic Yoga Therapy for many years before I yearned for more ‘hard science’ and returned to school again in pursuit of ‘why’.  Still, as I dug into biochemistry, systems biology, pathology, and nutrition the idea of balance was there again.  

  • Cortisol is our stress hormone and gets a lot of negative attention today when it is actually very important.  Yes, excessive cortisol can cause all sorts of problems including fatigue and hormone problems but we need cortisol to wake up and feel awake and motivated for the day, we need it to decrease inflammation, and we need it to move sugar into the blood when we dip too low and need energy.  The right amount of cortisol is important but too little or too much is the problem. Balance biochemically is like goldilocks, not too much, not too little, but juuuust the right amount.   
  • Our microbiome depends on a balance of health promoting bacteria with harmful ones that are always there.  If the scale tips too far and harmful bacteria or yeast take over we might experience headaches, fatigue, cravings, muscle aches or more.  We need our microbiome balanced so it can help us with energy, digestion, hormones, neurotransmitters, vitamin production, toxins, and more. 
  • So often people are fearful of cholesterol and strive for very low cholesterol but really we need cholesterol to make our sex hormones and to maintain the integrity of every cell membrane so each cell can do its job.  We just need it balanced and in the right amount and form. So it’s not good or bad, we just need it appropriately balanced.
  • Sex hormones require balance also, including the important hormones estrogen and progesterone.  We need them balanced at the right times, not too much of one or the other. When they are balanced we feel motivated, calm, confident, creative and can reduce the pesky symptoms of pms and menopause.
  • Neurotransmitters such as GABA and Glutamate depend on a balance to help us feel calm and motivated instead of fatigued and anxious.
  • Our Immune system needs to be balanced so that it does not overwork such as occurs in allergic reactions and autoimmune disease but does not under function as occurs in cancer and when we catch every infection out there.  We want it working enough, but not too much.
  • In the digestive system we need balance keeping out the harmful or undigested particles but effectively absorbing and using the nutrients we do  need.  Even the best diet in the world could be causing damage if there are digestive imbalance
  • The delicate balance of antioxidants vs free radicals is needed to protect us from oxidative damage and resulting diseases and dysfunctions. Balancing the break down and destruction of the old with renewal and restoration is at play here cellularly.
  • We need balance for appropriate inflammatory reactions -using inflammation when we need it to heal but stopping chronic inflammation from causing pain and disease

The importance of balance in maintaining health both energetically and physically is obvious, so what throws us of balance?

Many things in today’s world can throw us off balance, tipping the scale too far and causing symptoms and disease, including past trauma, undected infections, emotional stress, pregnancy, childbirth, processed foods, overuse of antibiotics, aging, the Standard American Diet, environmental toxins, sugar consumption, chronic inflammation, mold, unhealthy relationships, lack of sleep, food triggers, not digesting the right nutrients, genetics, being over busy, not having a spiritrual practice, and more.   These imbalances prevent us from functioning optimally and lead to symptoms and eventually to diagnosed diseases. 

Balance is necessary for our body and soul. As the years go on I am continually grateful to have named my practice Mountain Rebalance. We all need balance and often that means reestablishing it. Come Re-balance with me.

Book a free 15 minute call with Janel to see if you would make a good team


Janel Ferrin Anderson lives and works in Truckee CA and is constantly working to balance her full life of family, work, play, and breath.  She is a board certified holistic nutritionist, a functional medicine nutritionist, family herbalist, Doctor of Natural Medicine and believes in empowering people to take a front seat in their health and wellness.

One of My Favorite New Snacks And The Recipe….

Finding snacks that are loaded with healing and beneficial nutrients, plus ones that contain the important balance of fat/fiber/protein, AND that taste delicious is a major win in my world. Because here is the thing, I love good food and I love giving my body what it needs to function as best as it can. Win Win

When considering what to eat every day for long term and sustainable health I am always thinking 1. what can we add? 2. what can we take away? And of course what is DELICIOUS.

This snack is beautifully free of all the major common inflammatory foods that can gradually lead to symptoms/disease, pain, faulty digestion, immune disfunction, mental health problems, and more . Plus, it adds tons of important nutrients our body needs to stay strong as well as that fat/fiber/protein ratio to help balance hormones (insulin, cortisol, thyroid and even sex hormones!).

What’s up with the fat/fiber/protein? This ratio of nutrients is the key to keeping our blood sugar balanced (glucose and the hormone insulin) and feeling satiated while getting important building blocks for body functions. (In our house we call fats brain food, protein muscle foods, and fiber energy/plant nutrient foods) When our blood sugar spikes from eating fast carbs, refined carbs, or carbs with out fiber (bagels or pretzels for example), it starts a cascade of hormonal events that can cause energy problems-problems sleeping, problems with sex hormones, fatigue, and more. By eating a healthy fat, a clean protein, and loads of fiber each time you eat you are doing your body and mind a huge service. It’s an easy, delicious, and satisfying way to eat!

This snack is a perfect mix of fat/fiber/protein and is loaded with nutrients. Here are all of the star ingredients-

A few of the stars-

Sweet potatoes- sweet potatoes are loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. They contain loads of vitamin C, vitamin A, B6, manganese and many more healing nutrients. The fibers in them are awesome for your gut health and microbiome, which impact your entire body. Thy support immune health, brain health, hormone balance and more.

Avocados– Avocados are an awesome source of important healthy fats. They are primarily oleic acid which is an anti-inflammatory fatty acid. They are a great source of vitamin K, potassium, vitamin c and folate.

Garlic– Garlic is used as medicine all over the world. It is known to boost immune function, be helpful in lowering blood pressure, heart health, cholesterol, and has tons of antioxidants to prevent free radical damage.

And here is the recipe so you can enjoy the goodness for yourself

Ingredients

  • Sweet potatoes- sliced into even rounds
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Sea salt
  • Avocados- 2
  • Garlic cloves (smashed and chopped fine)- 2-4 depending on your love
  • Fresh cilantro- 1 tbsp plus more for garnish
  • Juice from 1 lime
  • Smoked salmon

Procedure for sweet potato chips- Preheat the oven to 425ºF (218ºC) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or not). In a bowl, add the sweet potato rounds along with avocado oil and sea salt. Toss to combine. Place the rounds on the baking sheet, ensuring they are spread out evenly. Bake for 12 minutes, flip and bake for 10 minutes more. Remove and set aside.

Procedure for avocados and snacks- In a bowl, add the avocado and mash with a fork. Add cilantro, sea salt, lime juice and fresh garlic. Add the mashed avocado mix to the sweet potato crostini. Eat as is or I like to top it with smoked salmon and chives. Serve and enjoy!

You can make a big bag of the sweet potato chips and store the ones you don’t use in the refrigerator to use another day for a quick snack.



A few of my other favorite snacks include- almond butter with apple slices, carrots/celery and hummus, kale chips with nutritional yeast, hard boiled eggs chopped up in lettuce wraps, olives, artichokes, chia pudding, and clean smoothies with a good fat/protein. What are your favorites?

Janel is a Functional Medicine Nutritionist, Board certified holistic nutritionist, herbalist, yoga therapist and has her PhD in Natural medicine. She works with people using food and lifestyle to help them function their best today and for decades to come. She believes in empowering people to understand their body and take charge of their health.

Schedule a free 15 minute inquiry call today

Check out upcoming group events here

Spring Cleanse and Liver Love! 2022 Dates are here…..

2022 Group Cleanse week is May 9th-15th. All materials go out April 24th. Choose what is best for you

Updated Videos, Slides and New Easy to Use Cleanse Packet this year!

Bring in the fresh and light energy of the spring, support your liver and release toxins so your entire body functions better. Nourish your body and your soul during this natural time of year to cleanse. Set or reset new habits that move you towards feeling your best.

This is a chance to clear out the old and RESET, REPAIR and REPLENISH

Join Board Certified Holistic Nutritionist, Functional Medicine Nutritionist, Doctor of Natural Medicine, Family Herbalist, and Ayurvedic Yoga Therapist Janel Ferrin Anderson on this AWESOME and unique spring cleanse and deep dive into detoxification, your liver, and optimizing how you function.

No fad diets here, just an awesome, short, seasonal cleanse to jump start your body at a cellular level.


Previous group participants and clients get 20% off code- alumni20

Previous spring cleansers get 40% off code is- springalumni40)

Both groups are together this year in a new simple format. Participate as much or little as you want with the group (but I hope to see you with us!)


Sign up now


Spring is the season of the the liver and spring produce is all about liver nutrients. The liver is important for hundreds of everyday functions and directly impacts hormone health, blood sugar balance, nutrient storage, fat digestion, protein digestion, enzyme synthesis, cholesterol, and of course DETOXIFICATION of substances that enter your body through the air, water, food, skin, and gut.


Give your body what it needs this spring to hit reset, flush out the old and bring in the vibrant new.

We are going to REMOVE toxins coming in, LOAD UP on nutrients that support our body’s detoxification pathways, INCLUDE lifestyle practices that support detoxification, and set INTENTIONS for what we want to bring into our life.

  • Optional recorded content that you can watch anytime so you can learn about what we are doing and why we are doing it. You will walk away empowered!
  • Menus, meal plans, recipes, cooking demos, herbs, tips, tricks, and more (THIS IS MY FAVORITE RECIPE BOOK OF THE YEAR)
  • Info goes out APRIL 24th! PLENTY OF TIME TO ORGANIZE BEFORE CLEANSE
  • New- Easy to use format and Cleanse Packet with tips on cleansing, trouble shooting a cleanse, essential oils, detox enhancers, herbs, and more
  • Closed facebook group for sharing recipes, experiences, and asking questions
  • Live Optional 30 minute Q&As on Tuesdays at 7pm
    • April 26th
    • May 3rd
    • May 10th
    • May 17th
  • Cleanse is the week May 9th-15th
  • Group Lake Jump to kick off the cleanse in Truckee May 9th at 5pm
  • BONUS CHECK IN ON MAY 12th at 7am (per last years evaluation request)

BONUS- Truckee Tahoe People meet Monday May 9th at Donner Lake at 5pm for a lake jump to kick off the cleanse week! Woohoo


Yes this is a rejuvenating cleanse but it is so much more! Learn new habits and recipes to nourish your body for decades to come, empower yourself by learning the ‘why’ behind cleansing, connect with like minded community, learn what herbs and lifestyle practices aid us in detoxing, giver your liver some love, work with Functional Medicine Nutritionist Janel Ferrin Anderson, and eat delicious food while nourishing your entire body.

Come away feeling revitalized and restored

THIS IS NOT YOUR TYPICAL COOKIE CUTTER CLEANSE THAT I AM RE-MARKETING. I carefully designed this cleanse to help accommodate individual needs and support the body to function and cleanse its best.



Why Cleanse?

There is one thing we all share which is our exposure to an increasing amount of toxins and stressors in our world. And while our body is designed to detox and cleanse everyday, the problem is the amount of toxins that are entering our body coupled with an increasingly nutrient deficient food supply and other modern day factors that slow down detox pathways. This idea is called Total Load or body burden. So it is not about one or two toxins, but about the accumulation over time. When our body becomes overburdened we start to feel it. Our liver is one of our detox organs and we are going to give it exactly what it needs to do its job.

According to Rupa Health, these are some signs that your body may have toxins building up

  • headaches or migraines
  • insomnia
  • skin rashes
  • tiredness
  • difficulty paying attention or focusing
  • bloating
  • lack of energy
  • body aches and pains

Who is this cleanse for?

Yes, we are all exposed to an increasingly high amount toxins but because we are all unique and are at different places in our lives, with different activity levels, stressors, gut health, cleanse experience, life commitments, etc… there is no one cleanse that works for everyone. That is why I include 3 options. This way you can pick what feels right for you.

I will help you choose what is best for you. This cleanse is appropriate for anyone looking to cleanse because of this unique and personalized flexibility.

  • A building cleanse is for those that might be recovering from an injury, or breastfeeding, with a lot of physical demands on them, or are new to cleansing. In this cleanse we still bring in all the cleansing foods of spring and restorative practices but we include more solid foods, clean proteins and healthy fats to make sure you meet your needs.
  • A balancing cleanse is for most of us. We balance delicious cleansing foods, nourishing smoothies, green juices, and soups while incorporating supportive cleansing lifestyle practices.
  • A naked cleanse is for those that have cleansed before, that already eat a clean and nutrient dense diet, or that prefer the simplicity of this cleanse.

First cleanse? 100th cleanse? Join where you are and pick which level is right for your unique body

This is your chance to flush out and replenish


Get helpful handouts, lists, recipes, support from me during the week, lifestyle practices to enhance detox, daily guided breath work practices, supplement and herbal suggestions, and more. You are going to feel great after this.

Download the roasted cauliflower recipe and sneaky/delicious way to add cruciferous veggies recipe now.


What have people said in the past about this cleanse?

“Spring Cleanse! Oh my. What an incredible experience. I’ve never done something like this in a group. I’ve cleansed before but doing so in a group was so uplifting and encouraging. I LOVED the recipes, the online support, and the WHY! It all made it so much more feasible. Janel shares amazing, obtainable, knowledge on not only the “how” but the “why”. I’d definitely do it again!” -2019 participant

“Great program – short and sweet with lots of benefits – easy to follow – LOVE the new recipe book” -2021 participant

“Working with Janel was a great experience. I felt supported and educated about why this was a good thing for my body. When I believe I am benefitting my health it is easier to stay committed to the cleanse. I feel really good and I will move forward having gained some healthy habits and a better understanding of why nutrition is key to not just my physical health but also my emotional well being. Thank you!” -2020 participant

“I feel totally energized after doing the Spring Cleanse with Janel and the group. She offered a great variety of recipes to make the week of the cleanse and to use in daily life. There was support to set an intention and also a flexibility to create a cleanse that works best for each person. I’ll take this energy and inspiration forward to make better choices in my eating habits and increase my vitality!” -2021 participant

“I just completed Janel’s Spring Cleanse and this is the first time that I have done a cleanse where I felt like I was truly giving my body exactly what it needs without depriving it in the process. The purposeful decisions from my cleanse (and as I reintroduce foods) have carried over into my life and I am loving the boost of consciousness!” -2021 Veronica Lichter www.RumpusART.com

Click Here To SIGN UP NOW!

Let’s Do This!

Early Bird cost of the entire program is $135 Previous group alumni and clients get 20% off. Previous Spring Cleanse participants get 40% off

Price goes up to $145 after April 10th

DON’T WAIT! SIGN UP NOW

This is NOT about depriving ourselves but instead about NOURISHING ourselves with specific cleansing foods. If you have done 20 cleanses or if this is your first one, this is for you!

Learn how to activate your systems of elimination, give your body a chance to reset, restore depleted nutrients, reduce inflammation, reduce the stressors on your gut so it can do it’s job allowing all your body systems to function better.


WHAT YOU WILL GET-

  • 1 easy to use cleanse packet (you can join us for all fun or take this and run)
  • Live (optional and faceless) Q&A sessions each week with Janel
  • 3 cleanse specific menus laid out for you to choose from
  • 3 cleanse specific delicious and beautiful recipe books
  • daily protocol to support your body’s detoxification systems
  • bonus cooking videos include- juicing in a blender, making nut milks, cooking healing broths, and many more
  • tips on how to sleep better, process toxins better, supportive cleansing herbs, essential oils, etc
  • supplement suggestions to support your cleanse
  • recorded lessons about the cleanse so you can learn about how/why to spring cleanse (access through the summer)
  • daily lifestyle tips to support your cleanse
  • education around detox organs and how they work and what they need to do their job
  • tips on troubleshooting a cleanse
  • breathwork practices to support cleansing
  • FB group to expand learning on specific interests, connect, and share with others
  • info on toxins and alternative clean choices

Join us for all the fun or take the protocol/recipes/packet and do your own thing.


Have you watched the fun Find Your Liver Video? More importantly have you found your liver? And can you believe how important it is? It is on the right side of your torso, just under your ribs on the right. Find yours!

Booking Provided by Healthie

What people are saying about working with Janel at Mountain Rebalance

Janel Ferrin Anderson FNLP NC DNM

Hello. I am Janel. I am pumped to dig into a spring cleanse with you. Empowering people to understand how their unique body works and how the choices we make impact that is my passion. Optimizing how we function through food and lifestyle choices affects every part of our life including emotional, mental, physical and spiritual. Join us this spring and optimize YOU. Learn more about me here


September start- Foundations of Health


Featured post

Get To Know Your Immune System So You Can Boost Your Resilience.

Most of us want to support our immune system but we don’t understand how it works well enough to know how best to support our unique system. It is empowering to learn a bit of the physiology so we can better understand why the choices we make with diet and lifestyle impact our body the way it does. It drives me nuts to be told what to do with out understanding why. I find most people I work with agree.

The Immune System is a complex and dynamic system, which changes with our environment and diet.

Here are the basics to help you start thinking around what might impacting your immune system. Add what you need to boost its various functions and layers and consider what you might need to remove that might be reducing its effectiveness and barrier functions.

Feel free to skip right to the bottom if you want to go right into what helps/harms immune function. But if you want to dig in with me………

IMMUNE SYSTEM 101

According to the National Institute of Health the purpose of the  Immune system is to have a network of cells, tissues and organs working together to protect the body against foreign invaders. The immune system has three very distinct jobs that need to be executed as intended for the whole system to work properly.

These jobs are

  1. Identify an invader. This includes properly identifying self from non self and harmful from friend.
  2. Communicate with other immune cells. So, the watch guards start talking and informing other immune cells about what is happening. They may call in back up cells or alter the biochemistry to set the stage for defense (aka inflammation).
  3. Attack the invader. The immune cells need to launch an appropriate attack to kill the invader without doing excessive damage to the host, aka you. This includes shutting off the attack when appropriate.

We need each of these jobs functioning effectively.

Our body is constantly exposed to invaders such as viruses, bacteria, and parasites, and it is our immune systems job to keep us safe. That is when it is functioning properly, anyway. When it is over working we may experience allergies, autoimmunity, or chronic inflammation and eventually the downstream diseases that come from chronic inflammation (Heart Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Crohn’s and many more). When it is under functioning we may get sick often or cancer cells may grow. So again, we want our immune system to function how Goldilocks likes things, juuuuust right.

We have 2 distinct parts of our immune system

  1. The Innate Immune System– This is the part of our immune system that we are born with. There is no specificity or memory. It is all about identifying all invaders and killing. The components of the innate immune system include
    • Our Physical barriers such as our outside skin and the internal ‘skin’ of our respiratory tract, digestive tract, and urogenital tract. This also includes the acidity in our stomach, the mucous membranes on all our internal ‘skins’, our microbiome or the good bacteria that covers our skins. Around 70% of our immune system is in our digestive system alone. Anything that reinforces these barriers will boost our immune system, and vice versa.
    • The cells of the innate immune system- This first layer of immune defense also includes several white blood cells- monocytes, neutrophils, basophils, eosinophils, and natural killer cells. All of which play key roles in keeping us safe from invaders.
  2. The Adaptive (Specific) Immune System– This is the part of our immune system that develops over time and involves a great deal of specificity. These are the more highly trained cells of the immune system and include our B cells (immunoglobulins come from B cells) and T cells. B stands for Bone Marrow and T stands for Thymus, which is simply where they each get their advanced training. The adaptive immune system is how we more easily fight off invaders after being exposed previously, it is why vaccinations work, and it is these immune cells, IgG or IgA or IgE antibodies, that we look to for certain foods or body parts that the immune system may be overreacting to.

Whew. Okay. We did it. That is the basics and it is from there that we can identify what food and lifestyle choices increase or decrease our specific immune functions and layers. The specific jobs of the immune system can be impacted as can the various layers by the outside world. Our immune function is dynamic and the food and lifestyle choices we make directly impact it. Some things decrease its effectiveness making them important to remove. Other things enhance how they function making them important to add.

10 THINGS THAT MAY NEGATIVELY IMPACTING YOUR IMMUNE FUNCTION

  1. Sugar- Sugar suppresses white blood cells and how responsive they are. Also, white sugar depletes our body of key immune nutrients
  2. Eating foods you are sensitive to or allergic to or foods that are hard to digest– These foods can decrease immune function in different ways. Hard to digest foods can damage the intestinal tract (damage the barrier function aka leaky gut), cause inflammation, and can distract the immune system. Foods you are sensitive or allergic to activate antibodies and again can cause the immune system to be on chronic attack, using up valuable resources and attention. (Foods that are often hard to digest include anything not chewed well, foods eaten while stressed, trans fats, dairy, gluten, soy, processed foods, beans that are not soaked prior to cooking, and more depending on a persons unique physiology).
  3. Alcohol- Alcohol reduces white blood cell count like sugar does and impacts the flow of oxygen at a cellular level preventing the body from functioning optimally 
  4. Nutrient Deficiency- Nutrients such as vitamins A, D, C, zinc, selenium are critical building blocks for immune cells.  From either lack of consuming them but also from lack of digesting and absorbing them a person can be depleted. Make sure digestion/absorption is functioning optimally so you can get the nutrients from your food as well as ensuring you are eating foods high in these nutrients.
  5. Toxins such as heavy metals, pesticides, pollution, smoking, chemicals, etc- can inhibit antibody formation, depress T cell and B cell function and Natural Killer cells. Pollution can Damage protective mucus membranes (line of defense) as well.
  6. Chronic stress –  Psychoneuroimmunology (big new area of study on immune system and nervous system interaction). Natural Killer cells are impacted by high chronic cortisol and this is a critical and aggressive cell for fighting viruses as well as cancer.
  7. Lack of sleep- During sleep your body releases immune cells that fight inflammation and infection. Lack of sleep reduces immune cells and hinders the protective response of the immune system.  Melatonin (sleep hormone) helps protect our lungs as well as activates natural killer cells.
  8. Trauma from surgery or accident including over exercising- Inflammation may be tying up the immune response
  9. Frequent Antibiotic use or other medications- antibiotics can damages important bacterial balance in the gut which is a line of defense while certain medications like ibuprofen and aspirin can damage the epithelium or inner skin of our digestive tract.
  10.  Exposure to chronic infections from the inside or outside- Epstein Barr, candida, lyme disease, etc, or with people working around kids all the time or on airplanes may be exposed chronically to bacteria and viruses, depleting immune function.

Helpful For Proper Immune Function

  1. A healthy lymphatic system, which houses many immune cells – Using your skeletal muscles helps move lymph as does deep breathing and bouncing.
  2. Appropriate nutrients- we make 2000 immune cells every minute, the better nutrition the better we are able to make those cells. Specific foods listed in infograph below but think colorful vegetables and fruit, nuts and seeds.
    • Vitamin A- supports mucus membranes throughout the body, is needed for white blood cell production as well as thymus and spleen health. 
    • Vitamin D-  The sunshine vitamin, Vitamin D, aids monocytes and T cells. Vit D triggers and arms the body’s T cells, the cells in the body that seek out and destroy any invading bacteria and viruses. It also reduces inflammation
    • Vitamin C- protects white blood cells from the enzymes they release to kill microbes, it’s an antiviral, it makes interferon, is antibacterial, and is an antihistamine. Supports innate and adaptive immune function.
    • Vitamin E- strong antioxidant  protecting cells from oxidative damage.  Boosts immune cells and enhances immune response
    • Zinc- Zinc is part of a wide range of immune functions. Needed to activate immune cells
    • Selenium- Antioxidant, boosts immune response and decreases inflammation
    • Quercetin- antiviral, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and aids in immune cell communication
    • Supporting digestive system-  Tools to help include fiber, microbiome support, hcl, mucus membranes, chew (releases growth factor which helps improve barrier)
  3. Sleep- See above. Sleep is hugely beneficial to our immune system and we need between 7-9 hours a night for our immune system to function optimally.
  4. Decreased stress and anxiety- Excessive cortisol (stress hormone) depresses immune function by decreasing Natural Killer Cells and diverting energy towards fighting a pressing or perceived ‘danger’ instead of fighting an immune invader.
  5. Appropriate exercise increases NK cells and other infectious fighting immune cells, it also decreases stress and increases circulation.
  6. Sauna or hot/cold therapy- This has been shown to increase both T cells and Natural Killer cells impacting both innate and adaptive immune function
  7. Microbiome- Important in barrier function and immune activity. Some bacteria in your gut spend their lives making antibodies! Look for a blog post dedicated to this important topic coming soon.
  8. Proper Hydration and herbs that sooth and nourish the mucous membranes such as aloe, licorice, slippery elm, and marshmallow root.

So what can you add? What can you remove?

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Janel is a Functional Medicine Nutritionist, Board certified holistic nutritionist, herbalist, and yoga therapist. She works with people using food and lifestyle to help them function their best today and for decades to come. She believes in empowering people to understand their body and take charge of their health. Schedule a free 15 minute inquiry call today
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